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Armenia: scores of arrests at Yerevan police station protest

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By Euronews
Armenia: scores of arrests at Yerevan police station protest

<p>There was tension in Yerevan on Wednesday night as hundreds of demonstrators gathered to support gunmen holding several hostages in a police station in the Armenian capital.</p> <p>The hostage-takers are seeking the release of an opposition figure who was arrested in June for alleged illegal weapons possession. </p> <p>The police fired tear gas and detonated smoke grenades after protesters began throwing stones at them.</p> <p>They also say they made 136 arrests among the demonstrators.</p> <p>Wednesday’s violence began when protesters tried to force their way into the police station after they were prevented from taking in food for the hostage-takers.</p> <p>A number of demonstrators were injured and police say several officers were hurt too.</p> <p>At one stage shots were heard but the situation calmed down later in the evening.</p> <p>Armenian media reported that more than 50 people sought medical treatment in Yerevan hospitals after the clashes.</p> <p>Authorities in the ex-Soviet republic accuse the <br /> detained opposition leader, Jirair Sefilian, of plotting civil unrest. He has accused the president of mishandling a long-running conflict between pro-Armenian separatists and the breakaway Azeri region of Nagorno-Karabakh.</p>